Hey. I was a wrestling fan a couple years back and I am planning to start watching again, starting with tonight’s Heat!. I was looking up some of what has happened since I quit watching, which was about 2 years ago. I was looking up who had the belts, but I was confused to find two different categories, RAW and Smackdown. What is this all about. Stephanie McMahon is the GM of Smackdown and Bischoff is the GM of RAW? That’s kind of…weird. I am very reluctant to accept this new format. Can anybody clear this up for me? Thanks

Somebody will be moving this to CafeSociety shortly.

They (the WWE) split up the rosters maybe 6 months ago. Half of them wrestle on Raw/Heat! and the other half wrestle on SD!/that other show. They (in theory) did this so that young stars can get some TV time and we won’t have HHH talking for 20 minutes on 2 different shows each week, just one. They are trying to make Raw the “entertainment” show and Smackdown! the “wrestling” show. This has actually worked. Raw sucks and Smackdown is boring. Ok, to be fair, SD! isnt boring, they have had some great matches on SD!. Angle, Benoit, E.Gurrrero, Edge, and almost all of the cruiser weights (Myserio,M.Hardy,Tajiri,Noble and the Hurricane has left for Raw now to occasionally team with Kane[sub] and the hurricane called him “citizen Kane” once, very funny, but thats enough of that[/sub]).
So, we have RAW with the likes of HHH,Kane,Flair,HBK(yes he’s back),RVD,BookerT,Golddust and a bunch of others

While SD! has the wrestlers with actual talent. Big Show, Billy Gunn, Palumbo, Mark Henry, Rikishi and the Undertaker. Wait, those people have no talent. SD! DOES have Lesnar(huge and can wrestle well),John Cena(talented young kid) and the previously mentioned talent of Angle, Benoit, los guerrero’s, amoung others. I used to be a pretty big fan but of late I just don’t care anymore. I still watch Smackdown! sometimes, but I haven’t gotten a PPV since April. And I probably wont get another until this April. Some people speculated for this years wrestlemania are
StoneCold - has been gone for a year because he walked out on the company for creative differences
The Rock - has been in Hollywood making movies for awhile
Goldberg - probably not and I really dont care much for the guy, but it would still be neat to see him lose
Sting - even less likely, he hates vince and the WWE but everybody has a price
and the most interesting
Brett Hart - they had that well publicized break up in '97, so I’d like to see if they can get around that
All in all, wrestling is not what it used to be. Don’t get your hopes up.

dead0man, a couple of the wrestlers you mention will never wrestle in the WWE. I read an interview with Jim Ross, commentator, columnist and WWE script writer a few months ago. He was asked about most of the former quality WCW talent that has not yet come over to the WWE. Among those he said you will never be part of the WWE include Sting (retired), Brett Hart, Jeff Jarrett, and Lex Luger. Hart, Jarrett and Luger are pretty much blacklisted. Among those mentioned as in negotiations included Goldberg (still under contract to Turner), Scott Steiner (has since signed), and Eric Bishoff (signed). Others that may be joining the WWE ranks in 2003 include Rick Steiner, Ernest Miller and Mike Awesome. Some long time WWE talent has hinted at jumping ship to Jarrett’s NWA but McMahon has stepped in and given the talent championship pushes and the pay raises that go with them. A couple of WWE insider sites have claimed McMahon is through with Austin and won’t bring him back but Ross has stated he will return after he clears up some legal problems (arrested for hitting the lovely Deborah). But some of the top talent such as The Rock and HHH don’t want Austin back, they feel he gets more than his fair share of TV time for the little actual ring work he does. Besides, his knees are shot, he is good for only a few monthes a year. I read a report the The Macho Man Randy Savage is considering a comeback but that is highly unlikely. He has had both his knees replaced, he was on a TV show on VH1 a few weeks ago and he is still in a wheelchair. Paul Orndorff tried a similar comback a few years ago and it cost him his right leg above the knee. I doubt anyone would risk amputation for the glory but you never know.

McMahon is also reportedly going to separate his Raw/Heat talent even further. They are pretty much separate now but they still wrestle together on the PPV shows. This summer there will be a couple PPV’s only a few weeks apart to see if there is a market for the two ‘separate’ organizations. The next racer72 WWE report will be next month when and if someone starts another pro wrestling thread.

Mcmahon reportedly had a meeting with Bret Hart this weekend in Florida. There is speculation that Bret may return for the Raw Anniversary show on January 13.

The Rock is expected back full time by Wrestlemania.

WWE has been in serious negotiations with Goldberg to wrestle two huge matches at Wrestlemania and Backlash against the Rock. This will only be a short term arrangement as Goldberg does not want to work a full time schedule.

The “split” is what the others mentioned already. Raw is very “sports entertainment” ladden and Smackdown features the better talent and storylines. In fact, pretty much everyone on the RAW roster (sans HHH) wants to work the Smackdown brand.

In case you hadn’t heard, HHH is dating Stephanie in real life. He’s also very involved in the production aspect of the show which may explain why RAW sucks and the morale in that lockerroom is reportedly very low.

Paul Heyman, formerly of ECW, is heading up the writing on Smackdown.

SCSA is rumored to be returning for the Royal Rumble.

Oh I forgot to add, AOL Time Warner paid out the remaining portion of Goldberg’s contract in late 2001. He’s a free agent and has been working shows in Japan for a while now.

Where is the Road Dogg Jesse James? No more DX I guess… :frowning:
Anyway, I’m not really warming up to these changes. I mean, they split Kane and the Undertaker up. The Rock isn’t in the same league with HHH. And neither is the Big Show. And Rick Flair’s old ass is in RAW?! Who are the commentators on SD!? (I can’t stand Michael Cole)
Oh, so…I got a question, how do the PPV’s work? I mean the Royal Rumble is coming up soon. Is that RAW only, or both? Thanks for the info.

He was fired after failing a drug test, and he’s currently wrestling as B.G. James in NWA TNA. X-Pac was also wrestling there as Syxx-Pac for a few weeks, but I think he’s in the indys now.

They split Kane off from Taker to help him develop his own identity, but screwed that up with the necrophilia angle. (Don’t ask, at least if you value your sanity.) The Rock is basically a special guest star now due to his movie career, so I don’t think it really matters all that much what brand he’s on. As for the commentary team, it’s Michael Cole and Tazz…and you might want to give Cole a chance, because he’s actually improved a lot recently as a commentator. I’d put him ahead of JR, actually, although that’s mostly because JR has become a self-parody lately.

Oh, and in case you were wondering about the secondary belts, the Intercontinental, European, and Hardcore belts were swallowed up by the Raw world title at various points during the past few months. Add the Georgia National and WCW US belts to that, and that thing has absorbed a lot of titles over the years.

WWE PPVs generally have separate matches on each card for the Raw and Smackdown brands, although there have been a couple of exceptions. The tournament at King of the Ring mixed Raw and Smackdown wrestlers in the brackets, and the Royal Rumble match itself will have fifteen participants from each brand. Whoever wins gets a title shot at Wrestlemania against the champion of their respective brand. Supposedly, there are plans in the works for separate Raw and Smackdown PPVs, with the original five (Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania, King of the Ring, Summerslam, and Survivor Series) still containing both Raw and Smackdown matches.

I just watched RAW. Wow, they broke some of my biggest wrestling pet peeves tonight! They took COMMERCIAL BREAKS DURING THE MATCHES!!! WCW always did that and that’s one of the reason’s I hated it!! Secondly, the announce table was not ringside!?! What the hell. Another WCW thing I hated! They really need to change both of those. But other than that it wasn’t bad. I should be going to Wrestlemania this year…

Michael Cole isn’t that good of an announcer. Please keep in mind that Smackdown is taped and most of the commentary is done in post production.
Plus Michael Cole had an earpiece where Jim Ross was feeding him lines like “Don’t call Misterio ‘Rey-Rey’” and the like.

He may not be that good but he’s still light years beyond Ross, who’s evolved into nothing more than a Schiavone clone.

Man, I had no idea the WWF had changed so much. I stopped watching right after the WWF absorbed WCW and ECW. By then, WWF had already dominated the competition so badly that there was no need to produce a decent show to compete. Once ECW and WCW were out of the way, all the storylines had turned to crap and the shows (even the PPVs) were boring as hell.

Even when I heard that they changed the name, Hogan and other stars were wrestling again and, upon watching a show a few months ago, saw that they had done a sort of WCW/NWO angle with Smackdown! vs. RAW, I couldn’t get excited. From what you’ve described, it sounds a lot like what the WCW used to be like. And Austin walked out? Wow, that’s insane. And for “creative differences”? Christ, Vince McMahon must have done something really horrible. I guess, as the old saying goes, “absolute power corrupts absolutely”. When a wrestler either wrestles for McMahon, or doesn’t wrestle on TV at all, McMahon can do whatever the hell he wants. That’s why monopolies result in low-grade products.

Has Kane taken his mask off yet? I noticed they changed it to expose his mouth, but the “unmasking” of Kane has been a rumour for years and years.

Anyway, I’m sad to hear that the show has gotten so low. I keep wanting to get back into it, since wrestling was a big part of growing up for me, but I’ve missed, hrm, I guess over a year, maybe even two, so it would take a great quality show to suck me back in and make up for lost time. Unfortunately, as you’ve described, it sounds like they’ve gotten lazy and it’s worse than ever.

Kane is still masked.

Austin is back as of last week sunday, and will wrestle the rock tomorrow night on RAW

The Rock is now McMahon’s beeotch, but he gets to do what he wants… also is now a Heel (which is a nice throwback for old Rock fans)

The two sepearate belts thing is annoying. Raw has the “heavyweight champion” belt and SD has just the regular “WWE Champion” belt, but it’s the same thing. I am, and will always be a fan of the “undisputed” one belt system.

I think Sting has been doing cameo stuff and promo stuff for WWE, or maybe some other guy im not used to seeing in a suit. He’s playing like a “devil’s advocate/satan” type role

There’s lots of backstage politics going on if you read other sites like Pro Wrestling Torch or A1 Wrestling most of which are centered around Triple H.
Triple H doesn’t like to lose, Triple H hasn’t been a good wrestler since he returned to the WWF and it’s not because of his quad injury. Triple H is overmuscled and has lost a lot of his agility, speed and performance. Triple H doesn’t have to lose because he’s schtupping Stephanie McMahon.
Steve Austin left the WWF because he didn’t want to job out to Brock Lesnar which would mean that he would have to endure an F5. Austin broke his neck wrestling with the late Owen Hart and that’s why he went from being a technical wrestler like Kurt Angle to a brawler. Austin, unlike Triple H, doesn’t have anything to fall back on like banging the boss’s daughter so he walked out before he was wheeled out on a stretcher. Plus Austin had lots of issues with the writing team on Raw like Brian Gerwitz who dreamt up that brilliant Katie Vick storyline that buried Kane and soured me on Raw for its sheer tastelessness. Every time Triple H said “semen” and “Katie Vick” in the same sentence he wasn’t referring to Kane but Glenn Jacobs the gentleman who portrays Kane.
The Rock is the golden boy at Titan Towers because he’s raking in the dough from Hollywood, of which VKM gets a decent cut, in addition to increasing the ratings for the TV shows and increasing the buyrate for the pay per views. The Rock can do no wrong except say “Get the ‘F’ out if you don’t like it” only weeks before leaving for Hollywood. Hypocrite. Plus he’s all personality with almost no wrestling moves.
That person who’s playing devil’s advocate is Sean O’Haire. He has a brilliant gimmick but they haven’t been using him since he told that little guy to run naked into the ring which is a shame because he can cut a mean promo.
I have heard that Raw has become exponentially better and Smackdown has maintained a respectable level of quality for most of the year. Unfortunately Paul Heyman has been demoted to consultant instead of head writer because in the eyes of Titan Towers he hasn’t done enough to increase revenues for the WWF. Heyman is the reason why Smackdown has been so good combined with the fact that their stable of talent is John Cena, Rey Misterio Jr. (who has been banished to Heat for some unknown reason), Kurt Angle, Team Angle, Brock Lesnar, Rhyno and the magnificent Chris Benoit.
Over on Raw it’s a glass ceiling where fan favorites languish as midcarders like RVD and Booker T but stiff and untalented wrestlers like Scott “Big Poppa Pooped Out” Steiner, Triple H (see above) and Shawn “The Broken Down Kid” Michaels remain unbeatable at the top giving lackluster performances. On the good side did you see Goldust’s new gimmick when cutting WOOF a promo? Hot damn HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO WOOF that’s hilarious.
The biggest problem with the WWF is the fact that they’re pushing old talent which is tried and true but clearly past their prime. The WWF believes bringing in old talent from WCW will somehow breathe new life into their product but it’s like trying to staunch the bleeding from a gunshot wound with a bandaid. It’ll work for a short time but eventually the blood will come coursing out again.
Three weeks from now wrestling fans will gripe about Austin being old, tired and stale while only weeks ago they were frothing at the mouth for his return.
P.S. I can’t bring myself to call them the WWE.

Steve Austin’s neck injury forced him to change his ring style, but he was never (and I remember his early days fighting Von Erichs in Texas) a technical wrestler like Angle. He was a (college) football player by trade (to the best of my knowledge). He used more wrestling moves back then (as was necessary in that time and place), but his style always oriented more towards brawling.
The Rock recently bought use of his ring name so he can now make movies without VKM as executive producer. However, every Rock movie is still a PR bonus to WWE (really minor nitpick - it’s not ‘the’ WWE, just WWE - even the announcers mess that up). And if by hypocrite, you mean getting across VKM’s message, then yes, he’s a hypocrite. Lastly, you are correct that Rock is 95% charisma and 5% wrestling, but the biggest name ever in pro wrestling (arguably) has a 99/1 split.
Booker T is getting a headline match at Wrestlemania. Jericho is voluntarily being used to help elevate lower mid-carders to his upper mid-card status. RVD has two tons of talent, but little charisma and can’t cut a promo. Benoit cuts a better promo and has more charisma than RVD, but still has a way to go. Rhyno, IMO, cuts a better promo than Benoit. Some things, I guess, you just can’t teach.
Heyman got himself in the doghouse (supposedly, despite having one of the best creative minds in wrestling, he is a very abrasive individual) and was removed as head writer of Smackdown. We should start seeing the effect of that in a week or two.

I was under the impression that Vince is getting a cut of the Rock’s profits, no matter how minimal.
Is Booker T going to be in a title match?

Booker T will indeed be facing HHH at Wrestlemania. Good money is on HHH keeping the title, but it would be a good swerve if he didn’t. Also there will be a Brock/Angle title match. Other matches to expect are Jericho/Michaels, Hogan/McMahon, Rock/Austin, Dudleys/Storm and Regal, and Undertaker/A-Train or Nathan Jones. I expect it to be A-Train so that the Undertaker continues his Wrestlemania unbeaten streak. While Jones doesn’t look to be any good, having him lose such a high-profile match this early would kill what little heat he has.

If my sources are correct (www.1wrestling.com), then The Rock now owns his name and thus McMahon will not necessarily get future cuts. He was given ‘executive producer’ status on past movies in return for allowing the use of the formerly WWE-owned moniker of ‘The Rock’, which was believed to be more marketable than Dwayne Johnson.

I can only pray that Triple H comes out first instead of after Booker T. Having Booker T win the title will certainly be a Wrestlemania moment.
Won’t he be the first black wrestler to hold the big WWF title? Yeah, I know they watered them down by giving each show their own but it’s still up there. At least Booker T would have earned his rather than having Bischoff hand it to him.

I think this is asked and answered.

I’d shoot it over to Cafe Society, but Uke Ike would kick my ass in a non-choreographed way. So start your own thread over there. :wink: